Susan Wild’s ad attacks Lisa Scheller’s business record and salary. Are the statements true? – The morning call
This is part of a series of articles on political ads leading up to the November 8 election. Find all our election coverage on mcall.com/election.
Democratic Congresswoman Susan Wild will face Republican challenger Lisa Scheller on November 8 in Pennsylvania’s 7th congressional district, which covers all of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties and a small portion of Monroe County.
It is expected to be a close race that could determine which party claims control of the House of Representatives. Election forecaster FiveThirtyEight rates the race as a draw, with Scheller slightly favored.
The redistricting of Congress following the 2020 census has made the race more difficult for Wild, who has held the seat since 2018. The 7th District now contains all of Carbon County, where 66% of voters chose former President Donald Trump in 2020.
Before being elected, Wild was a lawyer in Allentown. Scheller, who also raced Wild in 2020, is CEO of international pigment company Silberline Manufacturing in Tamaqua.
Wild’s announcement aims to paint Silberline in a negative light by highlighting its ties to China and an alleged false claim by Scheller about his 2020 salary.
The announcement opens with an excerpt from Scheller’s October 2020 speech at the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation’s congressional forum, in which she said, “The first thing I did was I reduced my salary to zero” at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. .
The voiceover calls it a lie and points to his 2021 financial disclosure, which the ad says shows Scheller earned a salary of $1.4 million in 2020.
The ad then pivots to another clip from the same forum, in which Scheller says “I’m so proud of what made in America means.” The ad’s voiceover declares that statement “another lie” and claims that Scheller has cut its US workforce by 60% and closed two US factories and opened two new ones in China.
The ad ends with a statement from the voiceover stating, “Lisa Scheller: If she’s talking, she’s lying.”
Through ads and campaign materials, Wild has repeatedly attacked Scheller for allegedly outsourcing jobs to China and having economic ties to the communist country.
In Scheller’s financial disclosure report for 2021 on the US House Clerk website, Scheller reports a salary of $157,594 for the year 2020.
She also said between $1 million and $5 million in business income from Silberline in the company’s operations in China’s Shandong province, between $100,000 and $1 million in business income from the location. of Silberline in Suzhou, China and Sao Paolo, Brazil, respectively and, between $50,000 and $100,000 in revenue from Silberline’s location in Puebla, Mexico.
The $1.4 million figure quoted in the ad combines Scheller’s reported salary with the minimum amount of business income Scheller has made from Silberline’s international locations, according to Wild’s campaign manager Sarah Carlson. .
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However, Scheller is not reporting any business income for 2020 from Silberline’s Tamaqua location. It’s possible that’s what she was referring to during the forum, but The Morning Call was unable to reach Scheller’s campaign for comment.
The Morning Call verified the claim that the US Silberline workforce has shrunk from 360 workers to 142 from 1998 to the present. According to a 1998 Morning Call article, Silberline employed 360 people at its three Pennsylvania plants. In Silberline’s 2021 Paycheck Protection Program application, the company reported 142 employees, a decrease of 60.5%.
Silberline also closed two US factories – one in Decatur, Indiana in 2019 and one in Lansford, Carbon County, in 2016. The company operates two factories in China according to its website and plans to open a third in 2023, according to a Report from CEO magazine.
Scheller said all former Lansford site employees have been offered jobs at the central Tamaqua plant.
However, according to a 2020 Morning Call article, 55 Indiana workers who lost their jobs were eligible for Department of Labor assistance because Silberline “transferred to a foreign country the production of a similar item or directly competitive with the article produced by the [Indiana] workers who have contributed significantly to the separations of groups of workers.
Scheller denied Silberline ever outsourced jobs and said global competition forced the company to consolidate operations in the United States. She claimed the Labor Department’s decision was incorrect.
Susan Wild’s campaign claims regarding Scheller’s 2020 salary could not be definitively verified, as her campaign was unavailable to clarify the meaning of her comment on the LVEDC forum. The claim that Scheller’s company would close factories in the United States and open factories in China is based on verifiable evidence.
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